Any event comes with some amount of downtime for attendees, and there’s few better ways to fill some time than a bit of shopping. Whether looking for a souvenir to take home to friends and family, something new for the wardrobe or even a piece of art, we’ve compiled this list of shops, galleries and snack stops all within a quick 10 minute walk of the city’s conference centre, the Palais de congrès de Montréal.
FIRST OFF: SOMETHING TO REFUEL
All this shopping is sure to make one a little peckish, but there’s several snack options en route. Le Petit Dep is an endlessly charming corner store, bakery and café with tasty treats and “dirty chai” (a chai latte with a shot of espresso). The cupcakes at Les Glaceurs are a local favourite, while the Maison Christian Faure patisserie is a slice of Paris on the streets of Montréal. Cantinho de Lisboa offers up the tastes of Portugal with tasty croquettes and Pastéis de Nata egg custard tarts to die for and Europea Espace Boutique proves it’s possible to have gourmet on the go.
SOMETHING DISTINCTLY QUÉBÉCOIS
The breadth and depth of products by Québec artisans runs the gamut from wood carvings to deluxe couture. Looking for a folk art painting of a uniquely Montréalais street scene or some llama socks? Don’t miss ImpresArts’ unique stock – there’s things here you probably didn’t even know you wanted but now can’t live without. Make your way past Boutique Métiers d’art du Québec, L’art des artisans du Québec and L’Empreinte Coopérative, each selling wares by the province’s craft masters, much of which is hand made and one of a kind.
Those looking for some ultimate warmth won’t want to miss Élysée Fourrures, Galerie Héritage or Harricana by Mariouche, all continuers of Québec’s long and storied fur trade. From hats to home furnishings, they’ve got you covered.
The bevy of souvenirs at Souvenirs Neil ensures no-one back at home will go without a Montréal fridge magnet or shot glass, while Sky Cadeaux et Fleurs offers beautiful flower arrangements hearty enough to last the flight home. And every day is Christmas at Noël Eternel for those who want a taste of the holidays no matter what time of year it is.
And those after a dose of big name brands and some mall time shouldn’t miss Complexe Desjardins, also the entry point for the city’s extensive RÉSO underground system (which you can tour with our recent guide here).
SOMETHING A LITTLE ARTY
Those looking for something a little artier shouldn’t pass up a look at Le Rhinoceros par Phi at the Phi Centre, featuring hip and design-savvy products by both international designers and local favourites like the unforgettable fashions by PONY. Contemporary art fans may just find the perfect piece for their walls back home at Galerie Bloom, Galerie MX or in the “lowbrow and street art” collections at Galerie Matthew Namour. Prefer something a little more old-fashioned? The Boutique de Pointe à Callière at Montréal’s historical museum the Pointe à Callière stocks books and gifts with a look back at the city’s past.
And speaking of that past, Montréal’s history is one tied intrinsically with its First Nations populations – in particular the Kanien’kehá:ka Mohawk Nation, – and the works of Autochtone artisans is available for purchase at Galeie Le Chariot, Indianica and Galerie Images Boréales.